Interview with Vasile BÎTCA, Minister of Regional Development and Construction

The purpose of this first material on the topic of construction and demolition waste management results from the consideration that in the next period the recovered quantity of these wastes could be significantly increased, emphasizing selective recycling as a result of storage fees, as well as the completion of legislation in the field. Based on this materially, we hope to create a platform for discussions between the representatives of the relevant ministries in the field, the operators economic entities carrying out activities in construction, renovation and decommissioning, as well as of the structures of the authorities from the field of environmental protection, especially waste management. The subjects that were emphasized are related to the current situation in the field of waste management of construction, the application of the legal provisions in this field, their recycling and storage, the possibility their use in road works, the utilization of masonry waste from demolitions as concrete aggregates, as well as financing programs. I discussed these topics in an interview with the Minister of Regional Development and Construction, Mr. Vasile BÎTCA.

MD: First of all, the readers of the magazine "Managementul Waste" want to know more about the ministry you lead in the administration structure central public, about the organization of the activity of him in the field of construction waste management?

Vasile BÎTCA: The Ministry of Regional Development and Constructions has the mission to develop, promote and implement state policy in the field of regional development, land development and planning, architecture, design, urban planning, construction, production of building materials and housing. In order to achieve its mission, the Ministry has the function of developing the legislative and normative framework necessary to achieve the objectives in its fields of activity, adjusting them to the standards of the European community. At the same time, the Ministry monitors compliance with the legislation in force to ensure the quality of constructions from the aspect of security against all categories of risk factors - natural, technogenic and anthropogenic, as well as from the aspect of economic and technological efficiency.

Among the main attributions of the Ministry are the elaboration, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the National Regional Development Strategy, the management of the National Fund for Regional Development, as well as the determination of the national regional development priorities in collaboration with the National Regional Development Coordination Council, the Regional Councils for Development, as well as with other ministries. In the field of constructions, the Ministry develops and ensures compliance with the National Spatial Planning Plan, coordinates the process of implementing the principles of sustainable development in urban design, coordinates and monitors the reconstruction, restoration and restoration of architectural, historical and cultural monuments, which form the urban aspect of historical areas on the territory of districts, municipalities, cities, villages and communes, as well as architectural complexes, etc.

In its activity, the Ministry promotes the implementation of new technologies, equipment, devices, machines, high-performance mechanisms and new materials, as well as trains the mass media, non-governmental organizations and the population in the decision-making process.

MD: From that mission package you presented readers, we want to discuss one of the basic components in the field of construction works, such as the problem of waste management of constructions. What is the current situation in this field and what are the ways to solve the problem?

Vasile BÎTCA: Waste is a growing environmental problem at global, regional and local levels. The economic development of the country, the construction of new blocks, the reconstruction of old ones, including the demolitions that are taking place, require the creation of a functional system for the proper management of construction waste. In the Republic of Moldova, as in other developing countries, for several reasons, including financial ones, the waste disposal system is in a first stage of development and includes two elements: the source of waste generation, the collection and transportation, including storage.

Landfilling remains the basic method of waste management. Unfortunately, the state does not have sufficient technological capacities for the collection and recycling of waste, as well as for their use as secondary raw material for other technological processes. Under these conditions, most of the generated waste ends up in landfills, containing useful materials such as glass, metal, paper, plastic, construction materials.

In the Republic of Moldova, data on the quantities of construction waste are missing, and as long as there are no legislative regulations on construction waste, most of it will continue to end up in landfills. Addressing the problem of waste, including that from construction and demolition, usually leads to their discharge into the soil, air, water and is a source of pollution: both local and global. The problem is accentuated by trends in consumption and production patterns, as well as by the continuous urbanization of the world, as well as by the waste generated following natural disasters (earthquakes, landslides, floods, etc.)

In the EU, the largest waste streams come from construction or demolition activities and, at the same time, from the production of construction materials. According to a report produced by the European Union on the management of construction and demolition waste, the amounts of waste produced annually in Europe vary between 200 and 720 kg per capita, the average being approximately 480 kg/person. Of these quantities, only 28% are currently recycled and reused. One of the objectives established in the EU Waste Directive adopted in 2008, to be achieved by 2020, is the increase to a minimum level of 70% by mass of the reuse and recycling of waste from construction and demolition activities, as well as production waste and industrial ones. Failure to achieve this objective, as well as the other objectives outlined in the new waste directive, will lead to the European Commission taking action against the member states. In Romania, the annual volume of waste from construction and demolition activities constitutes over 6.51 TP3T of the total amount of municipal waste collected by companies specialized in sanitation activities. In Bulgaria, the annual volume of construction and demolition waste is higher, for example, in Sofi a construction and demolition waste constitutes approximately 12% of the total volume of waste.

Taking into account the mentioned problems and the impact that constructions have on the environment, by Regulation (EU) no. 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 9, 2011, to the 6 fundamental requirements previously established for the construction sector, which are also found here in the Law on quality in constructions from 1996, the 7th was included which provides "Sustainable use of natural resources" and establishes that constructions must be designed, executed and demolished in such a way that the use of natural resources is sustainable and ensures in particular: the reuse or recyclability of constructions, materials and component parts, after demolition, the durability of constructions and the use of raw materials in construction and secondary compatible with the environment.

In the Republic of Moldova, some data on the quantities of construction and demolition waste are missing, this is due to the lack of strict centralized records and an inadequate method of disposal at existing warehouses, without weighing, or illegal burial or storage on surfaces undeveloped areas such as roadsides, riverbanks and ravines, on agricultural and wooded lands, etc., which leads to the appearance of natural garbage.

At the same time, there is an internal reuse in the own household or a commercialization on an undeclared market. The current system for the regulation and management of solid waste collection and disposal in the Republic of Moldova is not effective and does not minimize the negative effects on the environment following waste disposal. Significant changes are needed in the field of regulation of these activities and the organization of an integrated waste management system. Following the examination, a gap was also detected in the monitoring of the situation regarding waste management related to waste from construction and demolition activities, as well as the lack of a regulation regarding their management, or some other acts that regulate this sector.

The mentioned led the Ministry to draft, in 2014, the Regulation on the management of construction and demolition waste (CP A.09.04:2014), which to some extent will be able to remove some of the problems in this field.
I would like to emphasize that the provisions of the Practical Code have been adjusted with the provisions of the Community legislation such as: Directive no. 2008/98/EC on waste; Directive no. 91/689/ EEC on hazardous waste; Directive no. 99/31/ EC on waste storage; Decision no. 2000/532/ EC on the list of waste, amended by Commission Decision no. 2001/119 (which replaces Decision No. 94/3/EC on the list of waste and Decision No. 94/904/EC on the list of hazardous waste); Regulation (EU) no. 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of March 9, 2011 establishing harmonized conditions for the marketing of construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC. At the same time, I want to mention the draft of the Urban Planning and Construction Code, developed by the Ministry and which is awaiting its examination in the 1st reading of the Parliament, which also provides requirements regarding the management of these types of waste.

MD: From a structural point of view, there are several types of construction and demolition waste resulting from activities such as the construction of buildings and infrastructure objectives, the construction and maintenance of roads, the total or partial demolition of buildings or infrastructure objectives, etc. Each of these causes different effects on the environment and human health, depending on their particular characteristics. The readers of the "Waste Management" magazine would have liked to know what is meant by construction waste and what will be the ways to reduce it?………………

See the full interview in issue 01 (13), March 2017 of the Waste Management Magazine in the Republic of Moldova